NPR Music’s 25 Favorite Albums of 2015 (So Far)
We’ll call it in the air: 2015 is going to end up being a great year for music. The albums that have impressed us the most over the year’s first six months are a varied lot. There’s enormous ambition on display here, epic works crafted to bust boundaries or reshape at will (check out that three-hour debut album), but also intensity in small gestures: a pair of devastating albums about loss, two more anchored in the sounds of sisterly harmonies. As we reach the year’s mid-point, take a moment to listen with us, ears wide open to a great six months of music. Let’s hope the second half of 2015 lives up to it.
Advisory: Some of the songs on this page contain profanity.
Sound & Color
On its second album, this Athens, Ala. band — now chart-toppers, late-nite TV veterans, large-font festival draws — sounds less like a historically-accurate pedestal for propping up Brittany Howard’s monumental rock-soul-blues voice than a demolition crew with a work order to knock down some pedestals. Where the Shakes’ debut, Boys & Girls, bopped along on the energy generated by its musicians locking into perfect step, Sound & Color sees each band member stretching out.